I like the Two-Alarm Chili kit and Jiffy cornbread mix that you can get at any grocery store, but here are two recipes that are as quick as a mix--as well as fresher and tastier! Plus, you can control the heat and calorie count somewhat!
(click here to print)
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef (leaner is better)
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. salt (or to taste)
1 1/2 Tbsp. chili powder
1 10-oz. can Rotel tomatoes (spicy tomatoes and green chiles--I use Mild)
1 14-oz. can diced or crushed tomatoes
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 16-oz. can pinto or kidney beans (I like pintos)
Heat oil in dutch oven over medium heat and add onion, garlic, and ground beef. Stir to break up the beef and brown lightly. Drain off the oil.
Add seasonings, Rotel, tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Stir thoroughly and bring to a simmer. Cook for about an hour, covered. If it gets too thick, add a little water or tomato juice, if you have it. Stir in the pinto beans and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
Adapted from this recipe
(click here to print my version)
1 stick butter, melted
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup buttermilk (or regular milk with 1 tsp. lemon juice added to sour it)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter in the microwave, about 1 minute on high. Remove and vigorously stir in the sugar. Add eggs and mix well. Combine buttermilk and soda and add to mixture. Stir in cornmeal, salt, and flour until no lumps remain.
Pour into a well-greased 8x8" pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.